A lovesick kraken slowly drags the object of its desire - a ship of sailors - into the sea; a group of cantankerous saints materialise in a well-appointed parlour, and must unravel the mystery of how they got there; ageing fathers are sunk to the bottom of the ocean in pressure-sealed crates in a time-honoured ritual. Andreasen romps through the lunatic and surreal with a tender generous ease; there is a joyous absurdity to each premise. Just because a sister is born without a head doesn't mean her brother won't love and protect her; just because an adulterous tryst ends in alien abduction doesn't mean the man doesn't miss his wife.
Simultaneously daring and deeply familiar, unfolding in wildly inventive worlds whilst emphasising our common yearning for connection and understanding, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover uses the supernatural and extraordinary to expose us at our most human.
Michael Andreasen is a recent graduate of University of California, where he received the McDonald Harris Prize for Fiction. His story, The King's Teacup at Rest, was published by the New Yorker. He's working on his first novel.